One of the best literary debuts of the past several years

Tinkers

Dave Weich of Powell’s Bookstore conducted a wonderful, in-depth interview with novelist Paul Harding, the author of Tinkers.  I can’t speak highly enough about this slim, powerful work of fiction that encompasses so much in an astonishingly short amount of time.  The book is set in New England, and tells the tale of a dying clock repairman, his father, and his grandfather.  Memory flows seamlessly as three generations in a family are examined with the precision of thread through a needle.  I picked up the book because there was a blurb on the front from Marilynne Robinson. Even though I’ve never read her, I’ve had Housekeeping in my to-be-read pile for ages now.

The Powell’s interview has lots of good quotes, including this one from Harding:

“This is one reason why dispositionally you end up a fiction writer rather than a philosopher: You can take these ideas and investigate them; in the context of fiction, you’re under no obligation to prove them. They can all exhibit their own virtues and shortcomings, and then when you lay them next to each other, they create something like chords and harmonies. They reverberate amongst themselves. The hope is that the whole is more than the parts.”

Paul Harding will be at RiverRun Bookstore on Tuesday, March 31st at 7pm. If you live near Portsmouth, New Hampshire be sure to come hear him. He’s the real deal.

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